Menispermum canadense L. - Moonseed
Family - Menispermaceae
Stems - Thin, twining, woody below, dark maroon in color, young portions with some hair but becoming glabrous (glabrescent). No tendrils.
Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, peltate (look from below to see), with 3-7 broad, shallow lobes, margins entire, upper surface glabrous, lower surface silvery-green with some pubescence.
Arrow shows peltate nature of leaf.
Inflorescence - Pendant clusters of 40 or so flowers from leaf axils. Staminate and pistillate clusters separate on same plant.
Flowers - Petals 4-8, 2-3mm long, whitish, ovate, glabrous. Stamens numerous(+15).Filaments white, glabrous, -4mm long. Anthers yellow, -1mm long.
Fruits - Drupes, indigo-black in color, somewhat glaucous, 6-7mm in diameter.
Flowering - May - July.
Habitat - Moist woods, thickets, fence rows.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - Although the plant and fruits may loosely resemble grapes, they should not be eaten as they are mildly toxic. The plant can climb to around 7m or so.
Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 6-26-99 and 5-30-00.